Recently in Wrestling Category

2015 NCAA Session VI Roundup: Matt Brown Wins National Title

| No Comments | No TrackBacks


Session I Roundup - Video & Feature | Session II Roundup - Video & Feature
Session III Roundup - Video & Feature | Session IV Roundup - Video & Feature
Session IV Roundup - Video & Feature


ST. LOUIS - Senior Matt Brown etched his place into Penn State wrestling lore with a dramatic 5-4 victory in the 2015 NCAA title match at 174 pounds on Saturday night inside the Scottrade Center.

A model student-athlete in every sense of the word, Brown became Penn State's 23rd national champion (29 overall titles) in unique fashion on a locked hands technical point at the buzzer in the third period. Nevertheless, Brown earned the victory and will forever be a member of an elite club in wrestling history.

"When you're a little kid you dream of hitting that grand slam in the ninth inning, and sometimes it's a bunt," Brown said. "Still get the job done."

Brown will finish a stellar Penn State career with a 118-16 overall record. A three-time All-American, the Utah native notched his third-straight finish in the top five at the national tournament this season. A tireless worker on and off the mat, Brown is a humble national champion for the Penn State Blue and White.

"Pretty cool. I didn't expect the match to end like that. But that's how the ball bounces and it landed my way this time," said Brown.

As a team, the Nittany Lions' run of consecutive national titles will come to a close at four, but Penn State entered the national tournament in 2015 with a very young team. That being said, the Nittany Lions totaled five All-Americans, including three wrestlers who finished in the top five at their respective weight classes. With Brown's national championship, the Nittany Lions finished with 26 total victories and 67.5 points at the 2015 national tournament.


Final Team Standings
1. Ohio State - 102.0
2. Iowa - 84.0
3. Edinboro - 75.5
4. Missouri - 73.5
5. Cornell - 71.5
6. Penn State - 67.5


Brown_NCAA Title.jpgIt's rare to come across a student-athlete more deserving of success than Brown. One of the most polite individuals you will ever meet off the mat, Brown is a tenacious wrestler with a never-ending motor in the circle. His march through the 174-pound draw featured a pair of majors and three-straight victories that were decided by one point.

Battling eighth-seeded Tyler Wilps (Pittsburgh) in the national title match, Brown trailed 1-0 after two periods before a frenetic third. The Nittany Lion senior escaped to start the third to make it a 1-1 match. Brown added a takedown for a 3-1 lead. Wilps added an escape and then scored a takedown of his own to claim a 4-3 lead in the final 20 seconds. But Brown was not done.

10920500.jpegAwarded a stalling point in the final four seconds, Brown and Wilps finished the match off with the score tied at 4-4. Looking like a bout destined for sudden victory, the officials reviewed and awarded Brown a point for a Wilps locked hands violation, thus giving Brown his first national championship.

"I was disappointed I gave up the late takedown, but felt confident I could get away still and tie up the match," said Brown. "Had a tough ride, kind of just trying to get the time off the clock. Once the challenge started I felt comfortable because I knew he locked hands, and I was trying to point that out."

Brown's approach to the Penn State program has been team-first every second he has been in Happy Valley. He has the utmost respect from his fellow teammates and coaching staff.

"I just know how important it has been for Matt to be a national champion," head coach Cael Sanderson said. "He's been talking about being a national champion since we first started recruiting him many years ago. He's done everything we've asked him to do, the little things...I'm very happy for him. I'm very proud of him. He did a great job. And Matt Brown is a national champion."

Simply put, no one has deserved the opportunity to have his hand raised on the sport's ultimate stage than Brown. He is a first-class individual with an infectious personality, who has been truly grateful for the opportunity to be a student-athlete.

"He's a kid who has done everything we have asked," head assistant coach Casey Cunningham said. "He's one of the hardest workers we've ever had. He's a 4.0 (GPA) student...He's the type of kid you never worry about outside the room. You know he is doing the right things in leading the young guys. He's just been a pleasure to work with."

As Coach Sanderson succinctly put it, Matt Brown is a national champion for Penn State. And he will wear the crown with nothing but dignity and class.

The 2015 NCAA Championships are now complete. And attention has already turned to next season's national tournament, which will take place inside Madison Square Garden from March 15-17. Mark your calendars. The program will celebrate Brown's achievement, but the team has an eye on what lies ahead in the future.


Breaking Down the Nittany Lions

125: #11 Jordan Conaway (27-9) - 4-3 - Eighth Place (All-American)

133: #7 Jimmy Gulibon (26-9) - 4-2 - Fifth Place (All-American)

149: #12 Zack Beitz (19-11) - 1-2 - Tournament Complete

174: #2 Matt Brown (29-3) - 5-0 - NATIONAL CHAMPION (All-American)

184: #14 Matt McCutcheon (26-14) - 2-2 - Tournament Complete

197: #2 Morgan McIntosh (32-3) - 6-1 - Third Place (All-American)

285: #8 Jimmy Lawson (18-6) - 3-3 - Sixth Place (All-American)





Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

2015 NCAA Session V Roundup: McIntosh Takes Third

| No Comments | No TrackBacks


Session I Roundup - Video & Feature | Session II Roundup - Video & Feature
Session III Roundup - Video & Feature | Session IV Roundup - Video & Feature


ST. LOUIS - By no means was the road to the top line of the consolation bracket and easy one for Morgan McIntosh on Saturday morning, but the junior knocked off a pair of top seeds on Saturday to cap off a strong run through the back draw en route to finishing third at 197 pounds during the medal round of the NCAA Championships.

McIntosh downed top-seeded J'Den Cox (Missouri) in the consolation semifinals before defeating fifth-seeded Scott Schiller (Minnesota) in the third-place match. Sophomore Jimmy Gulibon also won his final match of the tournament to finish in fifth spot at 133 pounds.

In addition to McIntosh and Gulibon, Jordan Conaway (125) and Jimmy Lawson (285) wrapped up competition in the medal round on Saturday morning. Conwaway finished eighth and Lawson was sixth. All five Lions in action on Saturday will head home as All-Americans for 2015.

While the Nittany Lions' run of consecutive national titles will end at four, Penn State entered the national tournament in 2015 with a young team. That being said, the Nittany Lions had five All-Americans, including three wrestlers who finished in the top five at their respective weight classes. With McIntosh's two wins and one from Gulibon, Penn State finished the fifth session with 63.5 total points in the team race. The Nittany Lions are sixth in the standings.


Session V Team Standings (Main Draw/Consolation)
1. Ohio State - 94.0 (3 Finalists)
2. Iowa - 84.0. (1 Finalist)
3. Edinboro - 75.5 (2 Finalists)
4. Missouri - 69.5 (1 Finalist)
5. Cornell - 67.5 (2 Finalists)
6. Penn State - 63.5 (1 Finalist)

10916839.jpegEntering the week as the Big Ten champion and second overall seed, McIntosh looked to be a prime candidate to wrestle in the national final at 197 pounds. But a narrow 3-2 setback in the quarterfinals sent the California native to the consolation draw.

McIntosh knew the Nittany Lions were counting on him to rebound after the loss, and he did so with a vengeance. Between Friday evening and Saturday morning, McIntosh rattled off four-straight victories in the back draw on his way to third. The list included three-straight over top six seeds in the 197-pound draw.

"It hurts to take a loss like that and know you can't get on the top of the podium this year, but I've learned over the years to put it in the past and not dwell on it," said McIntosh. "You can't think about what could have been or what you could have done. You can take away a lesson to learn from it, but you can't dwell on it and have negative thoughts in your head because that's just going to bring you down when you need to step up in wrestlebacks."

His first bout on Saturday featured a showdown with the No. 1 wrestler at 197. Down 1-0 after the first period against No. 1 Cox, McIntosh roared to an escape and takedown in the third period for a 3-1 win in the consolation semifinals. Then, he wasted little time grabbing a lead in the third-place match against Schiller. McIntosh used a pair of first-period takedowns for 4-1 edge. He added two reversals and a third takedown for a 12-7 victory to claim third.

The junior finished a stellar season with a 32-3 overall record and a Big Ten title. McIntosh will have 365 days to wait, but he is primed to make a run in next year's national tournament.

Gulibon also showed a great deal of grit during the week in St. Louis. Like everyone in the lineup, the 133-pound sophomore had aspirations of being on the stage in the finals on Saturday night. He fell just short in Friday's semifinals in a 7-5 decision against Iowa's Cory Clark. Gulibon dropped his first match on Saturday, but he battled back with a 9-5 win over Mason Beckman from Lehigh.

"(In a way), I'm glad I got fifth because it will serve as great motivation during the offseason," Gulibon said. "I need to work on finishing shots in the offseason, but everyone wrestled well (this week), and I'm looking forward to next year."

Lawson finished sixth after coming up short in a 6-0 decision against Iowa's Bobby Telford, but will finish as an All-American. Conaway came home with an eighth place finish at 125 pounds after yielding a last-second takedown to Oklahoma State's Eddie Klimara in the seventh-place match. Nonetheless, the junior finished 2015 as an All-American.

All eyes now shift towards the national finals. Matt Brown will wrestle on the sport's grandest stage in the 174-pound final on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN). The championship finals will begin at 149 pounds, so Brown and Tyler Wilps of Pitt will wrestle in the fourth match on the lineup. Brown beat Wilps by a score of 6-5 at the Southern Scuffle in January.

"He is one of my best friends on the team, and he has been awesome," McIntosh said. "I'm so happy for him. He deserves this more than anyone. He's been a great partner (in the wrestling room), a great mentor and a great friend. I respect him a ton. I'm so excited to watch him."

The Nittany Lion senior is Penn State's 16th finalist since 2010. And by virtue of Brown competing in the final, it marks the sixth-straight year that a Nittany Lion is a national finalist.


Breaking Down the Nittany Lions

125: #11 Jordan Conaway (27-9) - 4-3 - Eighth Place (All-American)

133: #7 Jimmy Gulibon (26-9) - 4-2 - Fifth Place (All-American)

149: #12 Zack Beitz (19-11) - 1-2 - Tournament Complete

174: #2 Matt Brown (28-3) - 4-0 - National Final (All-American)
Up Next: Championship Round vs. No. 8 Tyler Wilps (Pitt)

184: #14 Matt McCutcheon (26-14) - 2-2 - Tournament Complete

197: #2 Morgan McIntosh (32-3) - 6-1 - Third Place (All-American)

285: #8 Jimmy Lawson (18-6) - 3-3 - Sixth Place (All-American)



Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

2015 NCAA Session IV Roundup: Brown Headed to NCAA Final

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

Session I Roundup - Video & Feature | Session II Roundup - Video & Feature
Session III Roundup - Video & Feature


ST. LOUIS - Following a 1-0 victory in the national semifinals on Friday evening, senior Matt Brown is headed to the 174-pound national title match at the NCAA Championships.

The undoubted team leader for Nittany Lion wrestling will compete in the tournament final for the second time in three seasons on Saturday inside the Scottrade Center. Brown's semifinal victory headlined a day where five Penn State wrestlers earned All-America honors in St. Louis.

"It was a tough semifinal match against Mike Evans of Iowa," Brown said. "He's a tough competitor. I was fortunate to come out with the W. It was a close match."

In addition to Brown, Jordan Conaway (125), Jimmy Gulibon (133), Morgan McIntosh (197) and Jimmy Lawson (285) are All-Americans for 2015 and remain alive in the consolation bracket.

In all, Penn State will have five wrestlers in action on Saturday, with one in the finals (Brown), three in the consolation semifinals (Gulibon, McIntosh and Lawson) and one in a seventh place bout (Jordan Conaway). Fueled by Brown's win in the semifinals, Penn State finished the fourth session of the tournament with 58.0 total points in the team race. The Nittany Lions are sixth in the standings.


Session IV Team Standings (Main Draw/Consolation)
1. Ohio State - 86.5 (3 Finalists/2 Consolation)
2. Iowa - 73. (1 Finalist/5 Consolation)
3. Cornell - 66.5 (2 Finalists/2 Consolation)
4. Edinboro - 64.5 (2 Finalists/2 Consolation)
5. Missouri - 60.0 (1 Finalist/4 Consolation)
6. Penn State - 58.0 (1 Finalist/4 Consolation)


10915562.jpegWrestling for the third time since Feb. 8, Brown and Mike Evans are no strangers to one another. And like the first two meetings between the two, Friday's semifinal tilt was a chess match between two guys who are tough to score against. Coming into the match, neither wrestler had given up a takedown during the tournament. And that did not change after seven minutes of action in the semifinals.

After a scoreless first period, Brown started in the down position to start the second. He popped free for an escape point and a 1-0 lead after two frames. However, rather than start in the down position to begin the third period like he did in the previous two meetings this season, Evans chose the neutral position in the third. Down 1-0, the Iowa senior went on the attack with shot attempt after shot attempt in the latter stages of the match, but Brown was not going to be denied an opportunity to wrestle on the stage Saturday night.

"Just keep wrestling tough. That was one thing. I wanted to go in and wrestle through every position, and I was able to do that," Brown said. "I wasn't able to get the takedown like I wanted. But in the Big Ten finals, I gave up some scrambles. That was something I was trying to work on consciously."

Saturday evening will be Brown's second appearance on the sport's biggest stage. The Utah native dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to No. 1 Chris Perry (Oklahoma State) in the 174-pound final in 2013. Brown has that experience in the back of his mind, and he has learned from it.

"Two years ago was the first time I was here at the NCAA Tournament," said Brown. "I wasn't complacent at all, but I was ecstatic just to be in the finals and I wrestled a really tough match and ended up dropping in overtime in a loss. But I didn't celebrate after my quarters becoming an All-American, because that's not my goal. I'll have a chance to achieve that tomorrow."

Gulibon's semifinal match against Iowa's Cory Clark featured a frenetic pace from start to finish. After a scoreless first, Gulibon got on the board with a reversal early in the second period. Clark scored an escape point and then secured a takedown for a 3-2 lead after two. In the third, Clark's lead grew to 6-2 with an escape and takedown. Gulibon notched an escape and a takedown to make it 6-5, but with riding time, Clark moved into the national semifinals with a 7-5 victory.

The Nittany Lion sophomore has wrestled very well in St. Louis, but came up just shy of finishing a takedown shot when the match was 4-2 in the third. Clark countered for a takedown and a 6-2 lead. The margin for error is incredibly thin when it comes to the national tournament. Nonetheless, Gulibon is very much alive in the race for third.

Joining Gulibon in the consolation semifinals will be McIntosh (197) and Lawson (285). Both McIntosh and Lawson notched two victories on Friday evening to remain alive in the race for third spot at their respective weight classes.

For Lawson, his journey to the starting lineup was by no means easy as a Nittany Lion wrestler, but the New Jersey native is now an All-American and will have the opportunity to wear the Penn State singlet one more time on Saturday.

"It hasn't been easy, but it means a lot to me (to be an All-American)," Lawson said. "Obviously, I wanted to have the chance to wrestle for a title, but being a senior and having the chance to wrestle for third is something I'm really looking forward to."


Session five begins at 11 a.m. ET on ESPNU and ESPN3.com. The fifth session is the medal round, with consolation action leading up to the third, fifth and seventh place matches.


Breaking Down the Nittany Lions

125: #11 Jordan Conaway (27-8) - 4-2 - Seventh Place Match (All-American)
Up Next: Seventh Place Match vs. No. 7 Eddie Klimara (Oklahoma State)

133: #7 Jimmy Gulibon (25-8) - 3-1 - Consolation Semifinals (All-American)
Up Next: Consolation Semifinal Round vs. No. 9 A.J. Schopp (Edinboro)

149: #12 Zack Beitz (19-11) - 1-2 - Tournament Complete

174: #2 Matt Brown (28-3) - 4-0 - National Final (All-American)
Up Next: Championship Round vs. No. 8 Tyler Wilps (Pitt)

184: #14 Matt McCutcheon (26-14) - 2-2 - Tournament Complete

197: #2 Morgan McIntosh (29-3) - 4-1 - Consolation Semifinals (All-American)
Up Next: Consolation Semifinal Round vs. No. 1 J'Den Cox (Missouri)

285: #8 Jimmy Lawson (18-4) - 3-1 - Consolation Semifinals (All-American)

Up Next: Consolation Semifinal vs. No. 2 Michael McMullan (Northwestern)




Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

2015 NCAA Championships Session III Roundup

| No Comments | No TrackBacks


Session I Roundup - Video & Feature | Session II Roundup - Video & Feature

ST. LOUIS - Senior Matt Brown (174) and sophomore Jimmy Gulibon (133) will represent the Nittany Lion wrestling team in the NCAA semifinals on Friday evening inside the Scottrade Center.

Brown and Gulibon earned victories in the quarterfinal round of the national tournament en route to All-American status during the third session of the NCAA Championships. The two wins earned Penn State's 190th and 191st All-America accolades. Head coach Cael Sanderson has now had 28 All-America honors during his six-year tenure as head coach.

The Lions went 2-3 in quarterfinal action on Friday. Matt McCutcheon (184), Morgan McIntosh (197) and Jimmy Lawson (285) will each wrestle in the consolation round of 12 on Friday evening after coming up short in the quarterfinals. Jordan Conaway (125) put together a strong session with two victories in consolation action to punch a ticket into the consolation round of 12, as well.

In all, Penn State will have six wrestlers in action on Friday evening, with two in the semifinals and four in the consolation bracket. Thanks the pair of semifinal berths, Penn State finished the third session with 33.5 total points in the team race. The Nittany Lions are eighth in the standings.


Session III Team Standings (Main Draw/Consolation)
1. Ohio State - 64.5 (5 Main Draw/0 Consolation)
2. Iowa - 47.5 (3 Main Draw/4 Consolation)
3. Missouri - 45.0 (3 Main Draw/ 4 Consolation)
4. Cornell - 41.5 (3 Main Draw/1 Consolation)
5. Edinboro - 40.5 (3 Main Draw/2 Consolation)
6. Nebraska - 36.5 (1 Main Draw/5 Consolation)
7. Oklahoma State - 36.0 (2 Main Draw/4 Consolation)
8. Penn State - 33.5 (2 Main Draw/4 Consolation)    


10912090.jpeg Gulibon kick-started Penn State's morning with a strong effort against Wisconsin's Ryan Taylor. The Nittany Lion sophomore wrestled the second-seeded Taylor at the Big Ten Championships two weeks ago. Taylor used a takedown in sudden victory to beat Gulibon, 7-5.

With that match on his mind, Gulibon knew he needed a quick start in Friday's quarterfinal match. The Latrobe native scored the first takedown of the match and notched two near-fall points for a 4-0 lead after one period. Taylor quickly answered with a pair of takedowns, but Gulibon prepared all week for how he was going to handle adversity. He answered the bell with a strong finish en route to a 9-4 victory and a spot in the NCAA semifinals against third-seeded Cory Clark (Iowa).

"I feel like I have been wrestling pretty well," Gulibon said. "I think the whole team is keeping the momentum going. Watching the other guys go out there and win, it obviously gives me a boost to go out there and wrestle hard. I've just tried to go out there and attack."

Brown became the second Nittany Lion to earn a spot in the semifinals with a hard-fought 2-1 victory against eighth-seeded Zach Epperly (Virginia Tech). Brown took a 1-0 lead with an escape to open the second. He built 1:45 of riding time in the third before Epperly squared the match at 1-1 with an escape. Brown held off Epperly's late takedown attempt in the final seconds to earn a 2-1 with riding time for his second trip to the national semifinals in three years.

The Lion veteran has had a smile on his face throughout the week in St. Louis. Knowing this is his last opportunity to wear a Penn State singlet, Brown is wrestling loose and with confidence at the national tournament. And through three matches, he has been strong on the mat. Brown is yet to give up a takedown this week (one reversal).

All eyes will be on his matchup against Iowa veteran and third-seeded Mike Evans in the semifinals. Brown and Evans are no strangers to one another. The Nittany Lion senior has beaten Evans twice this year by the score of 2-0 (no takedowns from either wrestler in either match). Evans scored a 5-4 tiebreaker victory over Brown in the NCAA quarterfinals last season.

The run through the main draw drew to a close for McCutcheon, McIntosh and Lawson on Friday. McCutcheon fell in sudden victory (7-5) against Ohio State's Kenny Courts. By the narrowest of margins, McIntosh fell just shy of being awarded a takedown in the final seconds of a 3-2 decision against Duke's Conner Hartmann. Lawson dropped an 11-3 major decision to top-seeded and defending national champion Nick Gwiazdowski (North Carolina State).

Session four begins at 8 p.m. ET on ESPNU and ESPN3.com. The tournament semifinals will take place on the inner two mats of a six-mat setup. Two additional rounds of consolation action will also take place on the outer four mats.


Breaking Down the Nittany Lions

125: #11 Jordan Conaway (26-7) - 3-1 - Consolation Round of 12
Up Next: Consolation Round of 12 vs. David Tarao (American)

133: #7 Jimmy Gulibon (25-7) - 3-0 - Tournament Semifinals (All-American)
Up Next: Semifinal Round vs. No. 3 Cory Clark (Iowa)

149: #12 Zack Beitz (19-11) - 1-2 - Tournament Complete

174: #2 Matt Brown (27-3) - 3-0 - Tournament Semifinals (All-American)
Up Next: Semifinal Round vs. No. 3 Mike Evans (Iowa)

184: #14 Matt McCutcheon (26-13) - 2-1 - Consolation Round of 12
Up Next: Consolation Round of 12 vs. No. 16 Tim Dudley (Nebraska)

197: #2 Morgan McIntosh (27-3) - 2-1 - Consolation Round of 12
Up Next: Consolation Round of 12 vs. No. 13 Shane Woods

285: #8 Jimmy Lawson (17-4) - 2-1 - Consolation Round of 12

Up Next: Consolation Round of 12 vs. No. 11 Devin Mellon



Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

2015 NCAA Championships Session II Roundup

| No Comments | No TrackBacks


Session I Roundup - Video & Feature


ST. LOUIS - Had it not been for two narrow sudden victory setbacks on Thursday evening, the Nittany Lions would have been perfect on day one of the NCAA Wrestling Championships inside Scottrade Center.

The four-time defending national champions tallied a stellar 12-2 mark on the first day of competition, including a 5-2 record during the second round of the championship draw. Jimmy Gulibon (133), Matt Brown (174), Matt McCutcheon (184), Morgan McIntosh (197) and Jimmy Lawson (285) will represent Penn State in the national quarterfinals on Friday morning after winning twice on Thursday.

Additionally, Jordan Conaway (125) and Zack Beitz (149) will wrestle in the second round of the consolation bracket on Friday. All seven Nittany Lion wrestlers have contributed to Penn State's 18.5 points following the first day in St. Louis.

Thanks to another 2.0 bonus points on Thursday evening (6.5 for the day), the Nittany Lions will head into Friday in a  tie for third in the team race. Penn State and Oklahoma State each have 18.5 points after two sessions. Ohio State is first with 23 points.


Session II Team Standings (Main Draw/Consolation)
1. Ohio State - 23.0 (5 Main Draw/3 Consolation)
2. 
Iowa - 21.0 (5 Main Draw/3 Consolation)
3. 
Oklahoma State - 19.5 (5 Main Draw/3 Consolation)
4. Penn State - 18.5 (5 Main Draw/2 Consolation)
5. Missouri - 18.0 (3 Main Draw/6 Consolation)
Nebraska - 18.0 (3 Main Draw/6 Consolation)

10909562.jpegThe story of day one in St. Louis can be told at 184 pounds for the Nittany Lions. McCutcheon, a redshirt freshman, making his first appearance at the national tournament looked like anything but a rookie on Thursday. After scoring a dominant technical fall victory in round one, McCutcheon used a takedown in the first sudden victory period to dispatch No. 3-seeded Blake Stauffer from Arizona State by a count of 3-1.

"I was just wrestling my match, pulling the guy around and getting to my leg attacks," McCutcheon said. "I knew I needed to finish better. I was in on him two times, and I knew I needed to finish better and get into the quarters."

McCutcheon will wrestle in the quarterfinals against Ohio State's Kenny Courts on Friday morning.

"It's been exciting, but I need to put this one in the past and get ready for the next one," McCutcheon said.

McCutcheon's teammates are feeding off of the freshman's gritty attitude. Brown and McIntosh had big grins on their faces when they embraced McCutcheon after the victory. McIntosh marched into the quarterfinals with a 14-5 major decision against Nebraska's Aaron Studebaker, but after his bout he took a moment to reflect on the job McCutcheon has done.

"Bonus points are always important, and you always have to work hard to get them," McIntosh said. "I was pumped up to go out there and wrestle after Matt (McCutcheon) got his big win. It was awesome to see him out there."

Brown outscored his opponents by a count of 22-6 on Thursday. In the evening session, the Nittany Lion senior jumped out to a 5-0 lead against Lehigh's Santiago Martinez. And thanks to nearly three minutes of riding time, Brown notched a workmanlike 10-2 major. Knowing it is his last opportunity to wrestle at the national tournament, Brown is having fun in St. Louis.

"He seems pretty loose," head coach Cael Sanderson said. "He is wrestling calm, and he has been ready to go. I think that is important for him. It's important to go out there and score points. The matches are going to get bigger, and the guy who wants to go out there and score points is the one who is going to win."

In addition to Brown, McCutcheon and McIntosh, Gulibon and Lawson round out Penn State's quarterfinalists. Gulibon rallied from 4-3 down to score an 8-4 decision thanks to a late four-point move against Utah Valley's Jade Rauser. Lawson used two third-period takedowns to top Minnesota's Michael Kroells by a score of 5-2.

"(Lawson's) moving well, and I think this is the best we have seen him look," Sanderson said. "He's got a big match tomorrow against the returning national champion."

Session three begins at 11 a.m. ET on ESPNU and ESPN3.com. The tournament quarterfinals will be up first before two rounds of consolation action.


Breaking Down the Nittany Lions

125: #11 Jordan Conaway (24-7) - 1-1 - Consolation Second Round
Up Next: Consolation Second Round vs. Scott Parker (Lehigh)

133: #7 Jimmy Gulibon (24-7) - 2-0 - Tournament Quarterfinals
Up Next: Quarterfinal Round vs. No. 2 Bradley Taylor (Wisconsin)

149: #12 Zack Beitz (19-10) - 1-1 - Consolation Second Round
Up Next: Consolation Second Round vs. No. 6 Alex Pantaleo (Michigan)

174: #2 Matt Brown (26-3) - 2-0 - Tournament Quarterfinals
Up Next: Quarterfinal Round vs. No. 7 Zach Epperly (Virginia Tech)

184: #14 Matt McCutcheon (26-12) - 2-0 - Tournament Quarterfinals
Up Next: Quarterfinal Round vs. Kenny Courts (Ohio State)

197: #2 Morgan McIntosh (27-2) - 2-0 - Tournament Quarterfinals
Up Next: Quarterfinal Round vs. No. 10 Connor Hartmann (Duke)

285: #8 Jimmy Lawson (17-3) - 2-0 - Tournament Quarterfinals

Up Next: Quarterfinal Round vs. No. 1 Nick Gwiazdowski (North Carolina State)


Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

2015 NCAA Championships Session I Roundup

| No Comments | No TrackBacks


ST. LOUIS - The four-time defending national champion Nittany Lion wrestling team notched a perfect first session at the 2015 NCAA Championships inside the Scottrade Center on Thursday.

Bonus points were the theme of Penn State's superb start to the national tournament. The Lions went 7-0 in first-round action, including four wins featuring bonus points (three major decisions and one technical fall). Jordan Conaway (125), Jimmy Gulibon (133), Zack Beitz (149), Matt Brown (174), Matt McCutcheon (184), Morgan McIntosh (197) and Jimmy Lawson (285) all punched their tickets into the second round of the bracket during the initial matches of the tournament.

Gulibon (11-3), Beitz (10-1) and Brown (12-4) each scored wins by virtue of major decision, while McCutcheon (20-5 at 7:00) turned in a dominant technical fall victory in his first ever match at the NCAA Championships.

Thanks to the unblemished record and 4.5 bonus points, the Nittany Lions will head into Thursday's evening session in second spot with 11.5 tallies. Ohio State is first with 13.5 points. Penn State is one of four teams with seven wrestlers still alive in the main draw (Ohio State, Missouri and Oklahoma State).


Session I Team Standings (Main Draw/Consolation)
1. Ohio State - 13.5 (7 Main Draw/3 Consolation)
2. Penn State - 11.5 (7 Main Draw/0 Consolation)
3. Cornell - 11.0 (6 Main Draw/3 Consolation)
4. Missouri - 11.0 (7 Main Draw/3 Consolation)

NCAA_Blog_Session_I.jpg
It was an impressive session for a pair of Nittany Lions who had never wrestled in the NCAA Championships prior to Thursday. Beitz and McCutcheon looked comfortable every second they were on the mat during their first bouts at the national tournament.

"It was awesome," Beitz said. "I'm just grateful to have the opportunity to go out there and wrestle at nationals for Penn State."

Beitz took a 2-0 lead after one against Shawn Greevy (Chattanooga), but he was dominant in the second. The Mifflintown native scored a reversal to open the frame before three near-fall points handed the sophomore a 7-0 lead. He never looked back from there on his way to a 10-1 major.

"The one thing Coach Cael always says is keep going, going and going," Beitz said. "That's what I want to keep trying to do, keep scoring points. And then ride them tough and wear them out."

On the heels of a stout weekend at the Big Ten Championships, McCutcheon got stronger as his match at 184 pounds against Nick Fiegener (Cal Poly). A pair of back points late in the opening frame set the score at 7-3 when the first drew to a close. The Nittany Lion redshirt freshman added two takedowns in the second, including one right at the buzzer. McCutcheon marched to a seven-point third period and notched a 20-5 technical fall.

"It feels good to get the first match out of the way," McCutcheon said. "I'm ready to go. The coaches have me peaking at the right time, and I've just got to keep it going."

With seven wrestlers in the lineup, the Nittany Lions knew how critical extra points would be at the national tournament this year. Thus far, Penn State wrestled with tremendous confidence, and it turned into four wins with extra tallies. The Lions scored at least 10 points in five of the seven victories.

"Bonus points are huge here, and that is what is going through your mind when you are out there," Beitz said. We just go out there with the mindset to score, and then keep scoring."

The undefeated session sets up a host of critical second round matches on Thursday night.

"Our team realizes we are in this," McCutcheon said. "A lot of people are counting us out. Our team has the mindset that we are here to win, so we are going to go out there and score as many points as possible."

Session two begins at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNU and ESPN3.com. One round of consolation action will take place before the Nittany Lions take the mat in the second round. Jordan Conaway will be up first at 125 pounds.


Breaking Down the Nittany Lions

125: #11 Jordan Conaway (24-6) - 1-0 - Tournament Second Round
Up Next: Second Round vs. No. 6 Thomas Gilman (Iowa)

133: #7 Jimmy Gulibon (23-7) - 1-0 - Tournament Second Round
Up Next: Second Round vs. Jade Rauser (Utah Valley)

149: #12 Zack Beitz (19-9) - 1-0 - Tournament Second Round
Up Next: Second Round vs. No. 5 Chris Villalonga (Cornell)

174: #2 Matt Brown (25-3) - 1-0 - Tournament Second Round
Up Next: Second Round vs. No. 15 Santiago Martinez (Lehigh)

184: #14 Matt McCutcheon (25-12) - 1-0 - Tournament Second Round
Up Next: Second Round vs. No. 3 Blake Stauffer (Arizona State)

197: #2 Morgan McIntosh (26-2) - 1-0 - Tournament Second Round
Up Next: Second Round vs. No. 15 Aaron Studebaker (Nebraska)

285: #8 Jimmy Lawson (16-3) - 1-0 - Tournament Second Round

Up Next: Second Round vs. No. 9 Michael Kroells (Minnesota)



Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

NCAA Championship Preview: Seven Lions Looking to Make Their Mark

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

10903699.jpegVIDEO: NCAA Championships Preview Interviews

By Matt Allibone, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Cael Sanderson can't help but be a believer.

The head coach of the Penn State wrestling team knows his team is in much different position heading into the 2015 NCAA Championships than its been in the past few seasons. After a fifth place finish in the Big Ten Tournament, the four-time defending champion Nittany Lions will be heading into the biggest weekend of the year not as the favorite, but as one of the underdogs.

And that's perfectly fine for Sanderson and his squad. While expectations may not be the same for the Nittany Lions across the country, the Nittany Lions desire to win has not been diminished in the slightest.


"I don't think my perspective has necessarily changed," Sanderson said. "It's just a matter of getting the kids to believe. I can see us winning, it's just a matter of doing it, and not getting frustrated when things are not going our way because you've got to make things go your way.

"I'm optimistic. I believe in the guys that we have going that they can get the job done. Would it be a small miracle? Maybe, but I do believe in miracles."


Having qualified seven out of 10 wrestlers for the tournament, the Lions will certainly have plenty of work to do when the tournament kicks off on Thursday in St. Louis. Still, with all seven wrestlers seeded in the top 16, Penn State will definitely have the chance to make some noise.

At the very least, each of Penn State's wrestlers will have a fighting chance to reach the top-eight and earn All-American status. That being said, the Nittany Lions do take pride in the team score and will take the mat looking to rack up bonus point to make up for their lack of competitors.

"I'm excited. I don't want to talk big but I think our guys have a chance to score a lot of points," Sanderson said. "Is it going to be easy no, but can they do it, yeah."

It certainly won't be easy, but then again, the Lions aren't looking for anything to be handed to them. With the tournament kicking off in two days, here's a look at every Penn State qualifier.

125 Pounds: Junior Jordan Conaway (23-6, 11th Seed, Third at B1G Tournament)
Two years ago, Jordan Conaway made a splash in his first NCAA Championships appearance, coming up one win shy of becoming an All-American at 133 pounds.

Now competing at 125 after missing out on a starting spot last year, the Abbottstown, Pennsylvania, native is determined to take that next step. Having claimed third place in a brutally tough field at the Big Ten Tournament, Conaway seems to be peaking at the right time.

"I'm just focused on this year, I've been to this tournament before so I'm looking to do better obviously," Conaway said. "We've wrestled our best as this tournament the past few years, I don't see why this would be any different, and the same for me."

Sanderson has touted the redshirt junior as someone he is expecting to breakout over the weekend. With a 10-6 record this year against the NCAA field (including two wins and a medical forfeit in the B1G Tournament) Conaway has proven he can beat top opponents.

It's something that he'll have to prove early on as well. If the 125-pounder gets past the first round, he'll likely get a second round match against Iowa's Thomas Gilman, a grappler he's lost to by one point twice this season.

Conway, who admitted he hasn't looked at the bracket, isn't shying away from another rematch. One of the grittiest guys on the team, he knows he has to beat the best to be the best.

"I honestly don't look at the bracket, I just go out and wrestle," Conaway said. "We've had some close matches and I just have to keep battling and this will be the time to win it."

133: Sophomore Jimmy Gulibon (22-7, Seventh Seed, Sixth at B1G Tournament)
Perhaps no Penn State wrestler has improved more dramatically from last season to this season than Jimmy Gulibon.

A year after the highly touted recruit finished an up-and-down freshman year by going 1-2 in his first NCAA Tournament appearance, the 133-pounder has looked like a legit contender for much of this season, finishing the dual meet season schedule with a 13-2 record. 

While he finished sixth at the conference tournament despite winning his first two meets, Gulibon is still 12-7 this year against the 133-field and 9-6 against ranked opponents. He enters the tournament with an excellent chance to claim his first All-American nod.

One potential match to look forward to is Gulibon's second round bout, which will be against Lehigh's Mason Beckman if both wrestlers advance. In the two team's season opening match, Gulibon beat Beckman, who was ranked second at the time, 8-3.

"I can't be complacent and stay back and try to hold a lead. I have to keep wrestling," Gulibon said. "I was a little upset with my performance last year. This year, I'd like to get out there and keep attacking."

149: Sophomore Zack Beitz (18-9,12th Seed, Fifth at B1G Tournament)
One of two Nittany Lions making their NCAA Tournament debuts this weekend, Beitz may be the least heralded wrestler Penn State is sending. That being said, the redshirt sophomore is another guy that appears to be hitting his stride the last month.

A scrapper that has always had a knack for giving top opponents all they can handle, Beitz has recently shown the ability to finish off ranked guys. An impressive pin over fourth ranked Josh Kindig of Oklahoma State as well as a fifth place finish at the conference tournament has raised his profile.

Now, the Mifflintown, Pennsylvania, native is looking to show he belongs at the national level. While he originally saw time in Penn State's lineup last year as an injury replacement for Andrew Alton, Beitz has proved he can be a starter, and an impressive performance this weekend would enhance his reputation even more.

To do it, the 12th-seeded Beitz will have to make sure he doesn't look his past his first round opponent, Shawn Greevy of Chattanooga. A win there could set up a matchup with Cornell's Chris Villalonga, the fifth seed and one of the top contenders in the weight class.

"Being at the national tournament is something you train for and look forward to all year long," Beitz said. "This is why we wrestle. This is the tournament that means so much to all of us. The biggest thing is to go out there with great focus and know what your goals are."

174: Senior Matt Brown (24-3, Second Seed, Second at B1G Tournament)
It's hard to imagine any competitor being more determined than Matt Brown is right now.

The Penn State captain has accomplished nearly everything a wrestler can in his four-year career. He's got over 100 career victories, won an individual conference title, been to the national finals and claimed All-American honors twice.

All that remains now is that elusive national championship. Brown enters his final NCAA Championships as the No. 2 seed at his weight, yet he knows a trip to the finals won't come easy.

As usual, the 174-bracket is brutally tough, with nobody in the top nine having lost more than six times this season. Having finished fifth last year after coming up just one win short of a title in 2013, Brown knows better than anyone that the field is wide open.


"It's another competitive bracket, I think they'll be a lot of good matchups,' Brown said. "I think I'm just going into this weekend knowing the NCAA tournament is a lot of fun. I know it's exciting but it's nothing that I should be intimidated of or afraid of."

Brown begins the weekend with a 10-3 season record against tournament qualifiers, with two of those loses coming against the top seed, undefeated Robert Kokesh of Nebraska.

Having lost to him in the finals of the Big Ten tournament, Brown would love a third shot at the Cornhusker. At the same time, he has a long road to get there and the Nittany Lion All-American wants to savor every moment on the mat he has left.

"I think I'll reflect when it's over, knowing my days in a Penn State singlet are numbered," Brown said. "I'm excited though, it's fun. It's what we train for. It's not what I want to do for the rest of my life, but it's what I want to do now."

184: Freshman Matt McCutcheon (23-12, 14th Seed, Fourth at B1G Tournament)
Penn State's lone freshmen qualifier, Matt McCutcheon is hoping the momentum he picked up at the Big Ten Championships carries over into this weekend.

While he went just 7-8 during the dual meet season, the redshirt freshman really began to flash his potential in the conference tournament, going 3-1 with his last two victories coming against top-15 opponents, including a 9-1 major of Nebraska's T.J. Dudley in the fourth place bout.

As impressive as McCutcheon's performance there was, now is when the challenge really begins. Not unlike many of his teammates, the 184-pounder has a tough second round opponent, with Arizona State's third seeded Blake Stauffer (31-1) most likely waiting for him if he can get past his first match.

Still, McCutcheon has the confidence of Sanderson, who believes his first-year wrestler has the confidence and skill to perform on the sport's grandest stage.

"I thought the best he's looked was at the Big Ten [Championships]," Sanderson said. "His best shots, his strongest finishes, more than anything just the best look he's had in his eye. I think he's going to wrestle with some fire."

197 Pounds: Junior Morgan McIntosh (26-2, Second Seed, First at B1G Tournament)

In college wrestling, it's generally thought that if you can win in the Big Ten, you can probably win against anyone. If so, Morgan McIntosh could very well be in line to claim his first individual national title this weekend.

A year after he earned his first All-American nod, McIntosh entered the current season with huge expectations and plenty of responsibility on his shoulders. Having just blazed his way to his first conference title, the junior is clearly living up to his reputation as Penn State's next leader and star.

Currently riding an 11-match winning streak that includes victories over five top-10 opponents, McIntosh has never looked better than he has since the start of the new year. Nonetheless, he has refused to get complacent.

As one of the team's captains, McIntosh knows he needs to not only win, but also get bonus points if Penn State is going to make any noise in the team race. Even after winning the Big Ten, he still hasn't been satisfied with his performance.

"It's not like a huge giant breakthrough for me, I've always known that I'm capable of [winning the conference tournament]," McIntosh said. "It was nice to get there and win that, but there's other things to worry about. There's always opportunites to score more and other things I could of done but I can still work on it."

While a lot can certainly happen in the tournament and nothing is set in stone, a trip to the finals for McIntosh could likely mean a matchup with top-ranked J'Den Cox of Missouri, last year's 197-pound national champion and a guy who hasn't lost all season.

When the two wrestlers faced off at the Southern Scuffle at the beginning of January, Cox won a low-scoring 2-1 match. Though he knows he can compete with the Tiger wrestler, McIntosh is more focused on winning each of his bouts by a large margin to bolster the team score than he is on preparing himself for a rematch.

"When you think about the team and all the guys around you, you do wrestle harder," McIntosh said. "I definitely feel like that. I don't want to win just for me. I want to win for the team. I've got great guys around me, they've all been working hard and I just want to go out there and score points."

285: Senior Jimmy Lawson (15-3, Eighth Seed, Sixth at B1G Tournament)
By now, facing adversity is as common to Jimmy Lawson as putting on a singlet or trying to score a takedown.

Since transferring to Penn State in 2013, the Toms River, New Jersey, native has had so many setbacks it's been hard to keep track.

First, there was the personally disappointing 1-2 showing at his first NCAA Tournament. Then came the devastating knee injury that ended his 2014 season, followed by various ailments this year that prevented him from sustaining momentum. That's not to mention his three-year battle with Jon Gingrich for the starting heavyweight spot, something that would have been too much pressure for many to handle.

None of that matters anymore. With his final college tournament days away, Lawson is finally the Lions undisputed guy at 285 and has one more chance to become an All-American.

"I embraced the competition," Lawson said. "Jon's one of the best heavyweights in the nation and when you practice against someone like that you get better. I think coming to Penn State was the best opportunity to get better fast. It forced me to work harder every day. I've been more aggressive this year and I feel confident I can win a national title."

While Lawson is on the other side of the bracket than the two wrestlers who beat him this year, Iowa's Bobby Telford and Michigan's Adam Coon, he still will have plenty of difficult opponents to face. If Lawson wins his first two matches, he could easily face No. 1 Nick Gwiazdowski of North Carolina State with a birth in the semifinals on the line.

But that's all way ahead in the future and out of his control. For a guy who's gone through so much, Lawson is looking at this weekend as a chance to simply have some fun.

"You don't really feel pressure at this stage of the game," Lawson said. "If don't wrestle confident you're going to fail because everyone's going 100 percent. I'm not really feeling pressure I'm just excited. It's a great opportunity. I haven't been here in two years so I'm excited."

VIDEO: NCAA Wrestling Preview Interviews

| No Comments | No TrackBacks

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Nittany Lion wrestling team begins competition at the 2015 NCAA Championships on Thursday in St. Louis. The four-time defending champs head to the final tournament of the season with high expectations. Before the team departed, GoPSUsports.com caught up with a number of wrestlers for their thoughts leading up to the national tournament.



Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

2015 Big Ten Championships Session III: McIntosh Wins Crown

| No Comments | No TrackBacks


Session I Video Highlights & Interviews | Session II Video Highlights & Interviews

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Junior Morgan McIntosh etched his place into Penn State wrestling history by earning a Big Ten title at 197 pounds on Sunday afternoon inside St. John Arena.

McIntosh powered past top-seeded Kyle Snyder from Ohio State for a 4-1 victory in the final match at 197 to earn Penn State's 35th Big Ten individual championship. The California native is the 20th different Nittany Lion wrestler to win a Big Ten title.

Senior Matt Brown came up short in his bid to become a two-time Big Ten champion in the finals at 174 pounds. Nonethetless, McIntosh and Brown wrestled well throughout the weekend and represented the Nittany Lions on the conference's biggest wrestling stage before a packed house in Columbus on Sunday.

In addition to Brown and McIntosh, Jordan Conaway (125) finished third, Jimmy Gulibon (133) placed sixth, Zack Beitz (149) finished fifth, Matt McCutcheon (184) finished fourth and Jimmy Lawson (285) came home in sixth.

In the team race, the Nittany Lions finished fifth in the final standings with 96.5 points. Iowa and Ohio State tied for the team title and were named co-champions with 120.0 points.


Final Team Standings
1. Iowa - 120.0
2. Ohio State - 120.0
3. Minnesota -108.0
4. Michigan - 101.5
5. Penn State - 96.5


The evening belonged to McIntosh, who put on a show in the 197-pound final. McIntosh dropped a 6-1 decision to Snyder when the two teams met during the dual season, but the Nittany Lion junior said he learned a few things from the first match that he needed to clean up heading into Sunday's final.

After a scoreless first, McIntosh struck first when he completed a takedown along the left edge of the mat. The move handed McIntosh a 2-1 lead after one period. Starting the third period on the bottom, McIntosh wasted little time snapping out for an escape point. With a 3-1 edge and 1:12 of riding time in hand, McIntosh captured his first Big Ten title with a superb performance.

"It feels good, and it's obviously nice to go out there and get a win against a guy I had already lost to," McIntosh said. "I'm just so grateful for my coaches and my family. It's been a fun ride, and it was fun to go out there and wrestle in front of a huge crowd."

"I thought Morgan looked really good," head coach Cael Sanderson said. "He did what he needed to do. He used his abilities on top to earn a point there....He's a Big Ten champ now and that is a great weight class. It's one of the tougher weight classes in the Big Ten. That should set him up well seeding-wise going into nationals."

Brown came up short against No. 1 Robert Kokesh of Nebraska in the 174-pound final. The unbeaten Nebraska senior got on the board first with a takedown along the edge of the mat during the first period. Brown quickly escaped out, setting the score at 2-1. Brown then opened the second frame with an escape, which squared the match at 2-2. But Kokesh's takedown in the final seconds of the second period proved to be pivotal.

Brown nearly had a takedown and near fall points, but Kokesh scrambled to a takedown at the buzzer for a 4-2 lead after two. He added another takedown in the third period to set the final tally at 7-3. Brown will head to the national tournament with a 24-3 mark after placing second in Columbus.

Conaway turned in a strong tournament for the Nittany Lions at 125 pounds. He finished the weekend with a 3-1 mark following two wins on Sunday. Conaway bounced back from a narrow 5-4 setback to top-seeded Thomas Gilman from Iowa in the semifinals on Saturday with a gritty 2-1 win over Michigan's Conor Youtsey in the consolation semifinals on Sunday. Conaway then earned third place in the draw with a win by forfeit in the final bout of the day.

"It's been fun," Conaway said. "I wanted to be in the finals wrestling for first, but that's not how it happened. So battling back for third was the next best thing.

With the Big Ten Championships complete, the Nittany Lions will now shift focus towards the season's ultimate prize. The 2015 NCAA Championships begin on March 19 in St. Louis.

"I'm pumped (for nationals)," McIntosh said. "I'm excited to get back to work and head on the road with this team. We have an awesome group of guys."


Breaking Down the Nittany Lions

125: #5 Jordan Conaway (23-6) - 3-1 - Third Place (NCAA Qualifier)

133: #3 Jimmy Gulibon (22-7) - 2-3 - Sixth Place (NCAA Qualifier)

141: #9 Kade Moss (17-16) - 0-2 - Tournament Complete

149: #6 Zack Beitz (18-9) - 3-2 - Fifth Place (NCAA Qualifier)

157: #9 Luke Frey (14-8) - 1-2 - Tournament Complete

165: #6 Garett Hammond (22-11) - 1-2 - Tournament Complete

174: #2 Matt Brown (24-3) - 2-1 - Second Place (NCAA Qualifier)

184: #8 Matt McCutcheon (24-12) - 3-1 - Fourth Place (NCAA Qualifier)

197: #2 Morgan McIntosh (25-2) - 2-0 - ___ (NCAA Qualifier)

285: #5 Jimmy Lawson (15-3) - 3-2 - Sixth Place (NCAA Qualifier)




Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony

2015 Big Ten Championships Session II Roundup

| No Comments | No TrackBacks


Session I Video Highlights & Interviews

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Senior Matt Brown (174) and junior Morgan McIntosh (197) will wrestle for Big Ten titles on Sunday following victories in Saturday evening's Big Ten semifinals inside St. John Arena.

Each wrestling in their third Big Ten tournament, Brown and McIntosh will lead the Penn State charge into the final day of the two-day event. Brown will be seeking his second Big Ten crown, while McIntosh will make his first appearance in the title match on Sunday afternoon (3 p.m. on BTN).

In addition to Brown and McIntosh in the finals, Jordan Conaway (125), Jimmy Gulibon (133), Zack Beitz (149), Matt McCutcheon (184) and Jimmy Lawson (285) are all still alive in the race for third place at their respective weight classes. Those five Nittany Lions will wrestle in the consolation semifinals beginning at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

In the team race, the Nittany Lions head into the final day of the Big Ten Championships in sixth spot. Host Ohio State holds a slim 1.5-point lead over Iowa in the standings following Saturday evening's action.


Session II Standings - (Wrestlers Left in Finals/Consolation Draw)
1. Ohio State - 102.5 (4 in finals, 4 in consolation semifinals)
2. Iowa - 101.0 (4 in finals, 4 in consolation semifinals)
3. Minnesota - 86.5 (3 in finals, 4 in consolation semifinals)
4. Michigan - 80.5 (1 in finals, 6 in consolation semifinals)
5. Illinois - 79.0 (1 in finals, 6 in consolation semifinals)
6. Penn State - 78.5 (2 in finals, 5 in consolation semifinals)


Saturday evening belonged to Brown and McIntosh, Penn State's two locker room leaders. Brown turned in another dominant third-period ride out to power past Iowa's Mike Evans. The duo met in the Bryce Jordan Center on Feb. 8, with Brown scoring a 2-0 win after a ride out in the third. Brown again dictated the pace in the semifinals for a repeat performance. He notched an escape in the second before starting the third in the top position. The West Valley City, Utah, native never relinquished the top spot on his way to the Big Ten title bout.

"He's tough to ride, and I've been able to just kind of work hard. It's called a grind ride," Brown said. "It's paid off the last two matches (against him)...I felt confident heading into the third period that if he did get away, I was going to take him down, to be honest. That's something I wanted to do is take him down. I didn't get that this match, but I got the 'W'."

At 197 pounds, McIntosh jumped out to a 3-1 lead over Minnesota's Scott Schiller after a takedown and a penalty point for unsportsmanlike conduct. McIntosh added an escape to begin the second period and led 4-1 heading into the third. Schiller made a late charge with an escape and a takedown, which squared the score at 4-4. However, McIntosh exploded out of the bottom position for a match-winning escape point with 12 seconds to go. The late move sent the California native to the final.

"Schiller is a tough kid, and I enjoy going out there and wrestling him," McIntosh. "I know every time you go out there with him, it's going to be a fight on the mat. I wish I would have wrestled a little more aggressively...But I'm grateful and the opportunity that I have to be here (in the championship match)."

The Nittany Lions competed from start to finish in the second session, but came up just short in a host of close matches, including three bouts decided by two points or fewer in the tournament semifinals. Conaway dropped a narrow 5-4 decision to top-seeded Thomas Gilman from Iowa, Gulibon fell in sudden victory (7-5) to second-seeded Ryan Taylor from Wisconsin and Hammond came up just shy of a win in a 4-2 decision against Minnesota's Brett Pfarr.

The margin for error in a tournament as deep as the Big Ten Championships is razor thin. Nonetheless, the Lions head into Sunday with two finalists and five grapplers capable of placing third. Stay tuned for more from Columbus on Sunday.

"Everybody has fought, and that's something you can't take away from them," Brown said.



Breaking Down the Nittany Lions

125: #5 Jordan Conaway (21-6) - 1-1 - Consolation Semifinals
Up Next:
Conaway will meet sixth-seeded Conor Youtsey from Michigan in the consolation semifinals on Sunday. He is still alive in the race for third.

133: #3 Jimmy Gulibon (22-5) - 2-1 - Consolation Semifinals
Up Next:
Gulibon will face fourth-seeded Johnni DiJulius from Ohio State in the consolation semifinals on Sunday. He is still alive in the race for third.

141: #9 Kade Moss (17-16) - 0-2 - Tournament Complete

149: #6 Zack Beitz (17-8) - 2-1 - Consolation Semifinals
Up Next:
Beitz will wrestle in the consolation semifinals against fifth-seeded Alec Pantaleo of Michigan on Sunday. He is still alive in the race for third.

157: #9 Luke Frey (13-7) - 1-2 - Tournament Complete

165: #6 Garett Hammond (22-11) - 1-2 - Tournament Complete

174: #2 Matt Brown (24-2) - 2-0 - Tournament Final
Up Next:
Brown will face top-seeded Robert Kokesh from Nebraska in the Big Ten title bout.

184: #8 Matt McCutcheon (23-12) - 2-1 - Consolation Semifinals
Up Next:
McCutcheon is set to face sixth-seeded T.J. Dudley from Nebraska in the consolation semifinals.

197: #2 Morgan McIntosh (25-2) - 2-0 - Tournament Final
Up Next:
McIntosh will collide with top-seeded Kyle Snyder from Ohio State in the tournament title bout.

285: #5 Jimmy Lawson (15-2) - 3-1 - Consolation Semifinals

Up Next: Lawson will face second-seeded Adam Coon from Michigan in the consolation semifinals.



Follow GoPSUsports.com's Tony Mancuso on Twitter @GoPSUTony